Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updates 7/31/12

Hello everyone.

Ugh. It's early. I mentioned earlier that I didn't know if I would be posting today or not. Well, here I am, bright (kinda) and early. I don't really sleep well before a dentist's appointment, so I figured I may as well get up and do the news. :)

So here we go. It's pretty early, so most of the actual news for the day is lagging, but I found some interesting opinion pieces and a pop of news here and there.

-- Billionaire Jeff Greene is unhappy with his fellow billionaires about their lack of concern over Occupy. He fears that if something isn't done about the situation, violent class rifts may form. He told New York magazine "Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy..." He then goes on to talk about poor people taking over the country. Read more at the link.

-- In 1981, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department came up with a bunch of strange codes for protesting and leaflet distribution for city parks. You can protest in one side only of some parks, around the outside perimeter of others, and in one, you can't be near the (now nonexistent) fountain. Now, Supervisor Scott Wiener is trying to dump some of those codes. They have made it difficult to police the areas, with things like "free speech zones" due to the strange blockade.

-- Can the Oakland Police really follow through on reforms? Their monitor, Robert Warshaw, does not believe it will be easy, according to his latest quarterly report. Citing multiple issues, such as recent police-involved shootings, the handling of Occupy, and even the "insulting" and "racist" defacement of two images (a federal judge and an elected official) on the police bulletin boards, Warshaw said that "even greater concerns" were raised about the department's ability to change.

-- We've been talking about Anaheim for a little while now. In this piece, OCWeekly asks the question: Were Anaheim protesters targeted by paramilitary police? It includes video of arrests, as well as a list of those detained and why.

-- This opinion piece from the Guardian UK is a MUST-READ. It's not long, but it's absolutely brilliant in its simplicity. The author, Todd Gitlin, writes "What harsh police are crushing when they crush Occupy." It's a great read, but be forewarned--some of the comments show exactly where some of the problem lies.


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks for reading. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Updates 7/30/12

Hello everyone.

I woke up this morning (afternoon, really) and found that a lot of my work had been done for me. Charles and Kate filled my inbox with tons of relevant information! You two rock! 

Thanks to Kate especially for always including a personal note of encouragement. It's really helpful to see that what I'm doing has meaning. I may not always have the time to answer every letter, but I do appreciate them and read them all. Much love.

Remember, there may not be an update tomorrow, as I have to go to the dentist. We'll see. 

All of the updates today come from both Charles and Kate, and they sent me so many that I can't even tell who sent what anymore.

First let's talk about Anaheim. There's a lot going on in that area, and we have plenty of links for you. 

-- This link takes you to a large collection of images tweeted during protests in Anaheim. It shows arrests, military-style police, and plenty of tactics used by them. It also gives you an idea of what the protesters went through, thanks to the inclusion of many of the tweets accompanying the photos.

-- Here's a popular photo on Twitter right now, showing the military-style police in full gear.

-- This YouTube video shows an arrest of a protester by Anaheim PD.

-- Here's a recording of a GA where livestreamers and protesters alike discussed methods of new streaming abilities as well as other important knowledge.

-- Here's one of the items mentioned in that GA. It's a website called CopBlock, where they work together to make police be accountable for their actions.

Let's move on to Burlington. We've got some links.

-- I believe this may be the same link I posted yesterday, but it's worth a second look. What happened here?

-- This page is in French, but we're more interested in the video. A live take on Burlington's protests. 

Finally, these last two are from Kate. 

-- Occupy Monsanto is going to expose Trader Joe's for claiming to not place GMO's on their shelves unlabeled, and doing it behind closed doors. What does that mean? It means they are lying to us about what we are getting from them. Want to find out more? Check out the event page.

-- Remember how I talked about INDECT the other day? It doesn't seem that too many Americans are worried about it, even though they probably should be. Here's a photo from Twitter, showing that while we may not be taking it seriously, other countries definitely are. This is in Dortmund, Germany. If you don't remember what INDECT is, head back to my recent posts and follow the links to it.


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Updates 7/29/12 -- Chick-Fil-A is not okay.

Hello everyone.

Today we have a few bits of news, followed by a rant of sorts.

We're going to jump on the so-called bandwagon for a day. I'm going to talk about why the anti-gay Chick-Fil-A is not okay.

Oh, and also, it's finally raining here. It's been so long since it rained. I've been finding myself standing at my patio door, staring out at it in awe. Even my pets are amazed by it. It's too little, too late for our farms around here, though. Poor farmers. Poor animals. This drought is horrible. I know that there are other places and people going through much worse, but I can feel for them as well as for the people around here. You don't have to compare them. It's all just sad.

News first!

-- While this story isn't about Occupy exactly, it does show a lot of the turmoil that we are fighting against. A new documentary called "You've Been Trumped" opens in August, and details how a man with a lot of money can lie to a government, get the government to lie to the people, and destroy a beautiful area. Donald Trump wanted to build a golf course in Scotland, so he told the local government he would be creating 6,000 jobs in doing so. He bulldozed the landscapes, bullied the people, and lied through his teeth. This documentary shows the people attempting to rally together to get back at him. This is just a review of the film, which will be out in certain places next month.

-- The protest at Disneyland yesterday was the opposite of earlier protests, according to reports from the media. Protesters were peaceful, telling their message to all who would listen. They chose the theme park because it is the driving force behind the economy in Anaheim. Another larger protest is planned for today, outside the Anaheim police offices. 

-- The FBI have been making surprise visits to the homes of activists in Burlington, wanting to question them about the planned demonstration at the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers on July 30. Several people have come forward under assumed names, to let people know what is happening while protecting their identities from repercussions. The FBI has refused to comment, and the Burlington Police Department says they no nothing of it, admitting that they aren't always told what the FBI is up to. Even city officials were unaware of FBI activity, saying that they actually welcome peaceful protesters to their city. But why are they interviewing activists?

Okay, so let's talk about Chick-Fil-A. 

Now I want to get something straight here. Most people who are concerned with anti-gay rhetoric already knew that Chick-Fil-A was against gays. I've known for a few years now. At our university, we have a Chick-Fil-A (I'm going to refer to it as CFA from now on, because it's easier) and I've for the most part avoided it. The people that work there are extremely pleasant individuals, and if every other place is closed or has a long line, I will stop in and grab a sandwich. I'll admit to that. 

So a lot of people are like this guy.

They are freaking out over the debate going on right now. They are claiming that people are trying to silence the Free Speech that CEO Dan Cathy deserves. They say that cities have no right to deny a business just because of what the CEO believes and does.

And they are right!

If the only problem was Dan Cathy's beliefs, I would even eat there. I firmly believe that a person has every right to say what they believe. He doesn't believe in gay marriage. That's fine, because that's what he believes. Of course he can come out and say it. He can even donate his own money to any damned organization he feels. 

You know what's not okay? 

Using your business to donate to "community groups" in bids of "charity" when most of those groups focus on anti-gay rhetoric. That's when it becomes a problem.

We already are fighting against the "Money=Speech" problems. This is another one. CFA, as a COMPANY, not as in Dan Cathy CEO; CFA itself has donated millions (MILLIONS) of dollars to anti-gay organizations since 2009 alone. 

MONEY DOES NOT FUCKING EQUAL SPEECH. Legally, it does now, and that's why they can get away with this crap. I mean, seriously. Why is this okay with people? Blah blah, religion, blah, morals, blah, I'll get to that another time.

BUT, are we really talking about one CEO's personal beliefs? The answer is NO. 

Here are the donation tallies for 2010. 

Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
National Christian Foundation: $247,500
New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000 
Exodus International: $1,000
Family Research Council: $1,000
Georgia Family Council: $2,500

Every one of these companies has ties to, or IS, an anti-gay group. So let Dan Cathy talk. But when he puts the COMPANY'S money in the pockets of groups that have agendas meant to "fix" the gays, belittle them, and take away their rights, I have a problem with that. There are gay employees of CFA. I bet it feels great to know that your company so greatly disapproves of "your kind" that they are willing to donate money to those who would hurt you. 

Do I agree with Dan Cathy? Not even close. Do I think he should be able to say what he feels without repercussions? You better believe it. Do I think that his company should be giving money to these organizations? NO. 

My opinion on this doesn't really matter. But the truth is, if a company openly donated millions of dollars to KKK type organizations, cities would be blocking them from coming on the grounds that the organizations supported could potentially harm residents of their cities. This is the SAME THING. It doesn't matter who the hate is against, it's still a hate group. 

So, Dan Cathy. Say what you want. Do what you want with your own money. But when you decide to take COMPANY money and donate it to groups that are defined as "anti-gay" or "hate groups," it's time to put on your big boy pants and deal with the damned consequences. 

These cities should not have to allow a company into their cities if said company donates to groups that could possibly damage the welfare of the people living in the city. (That's my opinion.) If cities can block strip clubs from opening up due to the morals and values of the city, shouldn't that go for any business? Or is that just something we use to criminalize sex?

Anyway, for these numbers and others, you can check out Snopes and "An American Democrat" at these links.

My cheers to the cities not willing to have vitriolic companies join their ranks. You have my support, and my sympathy that you're probably going to have to go through a giant legal battle to simply protect your gay residents from vile hate-filled vomit at the mouth of a company that makes soggy, sub-par chicken. 


Contact me at elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com.


(If you disagree with me, I understand. We are all allowed to have our own views on things, of course. Also, if you don't think their chicken is soggy, wait five minutes until you eat it next time. You'll get what I mean. Your opinions on any or all of this are completely welcome. I do support the cities trying to stop CFA from coming in. That's not a legal view. I know that it's likely completely illegal for them to do so. But in that case, what do you think about the strip club thing? Why is it okay to block one business but not another? Is that fair?)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Updates 7/28/12

Hello everyone. 

I will likely not be posting this upcoming Tuesday. I have an early dentist appointment to get several teeth worked on. It's not going to be pleasant. I'm a bit on the terrified side of dentists.

Anyway, we've got two stories coming in from Charles first.

-- The first is about a project called INDECT. INDECT stands for "INtelligent information system supporting observation, searching, and DEteCTion for security of citizens in urban environment." Basically it is a research project from the EU that monitors everything it can, not stopping at the internet. It uses data from social networking sites, street cameras, drones, phone locator systems, facial recognition, and several other sources to autonomously determine if a person is engaging in "abnormal behavior." What do they plan to do about the "abnormal" or "suspicious" behaviors spotted by this project? We don't know yet. To learn more about how this can affect you, and what STOPP INDECT plans to do about it, follow the link.

--  Second, remember when we beat SOPA and PIPA? They're baaaack. Senator Lamar Smith just introduced a bill called the IPAA (Intellectual Property Attache Act). The bill incorporates much of the wording from SOPA and PIPA, and is meant to "promote a level playing field for American innovators abroad and American job creation." GlobalGrind calls that description "deplorable," as the means they plan on using seem to sound nothing like the actual goal. 

-- In China, citizens have had enough of the government ignoring their concerns about pollution and environmental degradation concerning an industrial waste pipeline. The pipeline could potentially poison the coastal waters, which many Chinese citizens use to make a living and simply survive. Finally overwhelmed, over 1000 protesters marched in Qidong, and several broke into a government office, destroying computers and cars, while throwing documents out the windows to the crowds below. At least two police officers were injured when they tried to stop the crowd. They were instead into the angry group and beaten.

-- The US Justice Department and the Seattle PD have reached an agreement on police reform. The reforms are meant to curb excessive force, and the Justice Department threatened to sue the city if they didn't reach an agreement by the 31st. The Justice Department got involved after it determined that one out of every five uses of force by the Seattle PD was unconstitutional. 

-- Good news out of Minnesota today. A woman who went through multiple issues with Bank of America, including a bank error which led to her home being on the auction block in just a few days, has received a mortgage renegotiation from the corporation. Occupy Our Homes MN is thrilled to have helped the woman keep her home, which she has been fighting foreclosure on for over five years.

-- Police in Anaheim are apparently panicking over the unrest occurring in their city. After two fatal (and one nonlethal) police involved shootings just this week, more protests are planned in the city, and Anaheim residents seem to be growing ever more weary of police actions. The Anaheim Police Chief held a closed emergency meeting yesterday morning to discuss ways to quell the uprising, including using outreach through bilingual churches, schools, and businesses. The Anaheim Police will be investigated by two federal agencies, the US Attorney General and the FBI.

-- We certainly didn't see it during the Olympic Opening Ceremony, but a number of cyclists were arrested yesterday as they performed their monthly "Critical Mass" protest ride in London. The cyclists have been served an order to stay away from the Olympic site, and police intervened when they apparently breached the regulations. Police tried to cordon off their route, and arrested those who attempted to pass through.

-- This last story is a short article with a video from Inside Story. It's a discussion panel of a human rights attorney, a journalist who covers many of the events in Anaheim, and Ray Lewis, the retired Police Captain who took part in the Occupy events last year. Their discussion is a simple but not so simple topic. Are police in the US becoming increasingly militarized? How have things changed in the 20 years since Rodney King's beating by police shocked America? 

What I would like to ask--

Why is it that Rodney King's beating so shocked everyone, yet the beatings of protesters today is encouraged by so many? 

Have we become so desensitized and ingrained with politics that we truly believe it is okay to beat someone who has a different idea? 

What is wrong with us?

Maybe one day, I'll understand.


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Updates 7/27/12

Hello everyone.

We're quickly moving in on school starting up again. I actually have less than 3 weeks until I go back. I start early as a grad student. I still don't know what my schedule will be like at that time. I find out in early August. 

School starting means something else too. We're rapidly approaching the one year anniversary of Occupy. Or as I've seen several media outlets call it "The Dying Occupy Movement." Ha. 

On to the news.

These first two are videos sent to me by Charles. 

-- The CM (Corporate Media) likes to either blow things out of proportion or make big things look non-existent. In Anaheim, however, they seem to be getting it right for once. What's happening in Anaheim is a big deal, and it's spreading throughout the nation. This video is a call to protest the Anaheim police at the "happiest place on Earth," aka DisneyLand. Check it out and see what these protesters have planned.

-- The second video brought to us by Charles is rather long, but extremely important. Brought to you by Flex Your Rights, it's a forty minute, documentary-style film called 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. The video deals with racial profiling and heavy-handed police tactics, and is meant to show you what your rights are when you are stopped by the police. Be prepared!

-- The group of lawyers who documented and reported over a hundred instances of police misconduct towards Occupy is frustrated with the NYPD and the mayor. They've attempted to meet with both departments multiple times to discuss their findings, only to be told that "ongoing criminal and civil litigation" is the cause for refusals to meet. The group is calling for an outside review to the NYPD tactics used on Occupy. Both the NYPD and the mayor still insist that no misconduct occurred. 

-- The ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition's offices were ransacked recently due to their support of the people in Anaheim. Their computers, bullhorns, protest equipment, and files were stolen and destroyed. The Coalition has been receiving hateful, racist phone calls supporting the Anaheim Police. When they were featured in the media, they were attacked that night. 


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Updates 7/26/12

Hello everyone. 

There is still much speculation on the shooting in Colorado, and of course the media is all over it. Pictures have begun to arise on social media sites asking if the original photo is of the same man that they arrested, and you can see some differences in the photos. I honestly don't know. The bone structure looks fairly similar to me, but I'm not a forensic anthropologist. I've got only a small background in forensics. Enough to know when someone is lying about something in the field, enough to be able to tell bones and damage apart. But I'm not that good. (yet.) 

But I have noticed some people talking more about gun control now. I have to tell you the truth. I'm torn on gun control. I know that having NO gun control is not a good thing. But I also know that having TOO MUCH gun control is just as bad. People try to say that stricter gun regulations would prevent shootings like this... but when is that last time you heard of a criminal stopping because something was illegal? That's right, they don't. It's pretty obvious that the more illegal something is, the more it becomes available on the unregulated black market. So guns would still be readily available to criminals who plan to use them.

Now, I can't have a weapon, because I've been diagnosed with a certain type of mental illness. And I'm okay with that. I'm better with a bow anyway, plus I can make my own ammunition if I would ever need to do so. I've always been a strong believer in the idea that guns don't really kill people. Poor training, bad mental health care, lack of assistance, lapse of judgment, or even bad parenting or accidents kill people. If you get hit by a car, you don't try to ban cars. 

But I digress. Gun control is a touchy topic, and there are logical arguments on both sides. (For example, while I believe that guns should be allowed to protect yourselves or hunting, I do not believe you need an assault rifle with armor piercing bullets for any of that. I mean, what deer are you after that wears armor? Yeah, no. Assault rifles, unnecessary. Armor piercing rounds, unnecessary.)

If you have a fierce opinion on this stuff, let me know. I'm always willing to hear arguments from either side.

We're moving on to a link day. Hope that's okay with you. 

-- Is the US military teaming up with local police to crack down on Occupiers and protests? It doesn't seem too far off. The IntelHub site has this article for you, with accounts of military and TSA personnel already joining in. (Thanks, Joe.) 

-- Truthout asks a very important question about the events in LA... Did the San Francisco Police Department get away with murder? Their opinion is compelling.

-- Homes are being raided in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia on Grand Jury Subpoenas. What's going on here? Protesters are having their belongings confiscated with no explanation. IndyBay takes a closer look.

-- One of the accused bridge bomb plot suspects has pleaded guilty on a plea deal, and will testify against his co-defendants. 

--Things in Anaheim are getting to a boiling point. First up, we have the Laredo Sun, providing a description of the recent protests, which resulted in in two dozen arrests.

-- Next up, we have accounts from the journalists who were present on the scene-- Amber Lyon, Steven Gregory, and the well-known citizen journalist Tim Pool-- as they documented the protests in Anaheim and were all shot at by police.

-- Lastly, the events in Anaheim may not be attracting Corporate media attention, but they certainly are attracting attention from other sources. Occupiers and Anonymous alike have joined up in the fight against police brutality. Anonymous is calling their move "Operation:Anaheim" and is encouraging others to join in. Their video is available in the article.


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Updates 7/25/12

Hello everyone.

I'm currently in the midst of looking for a used car, and I've come to a realization. Corporations are annoying. I've been looking at vehicles and car insurance online, just trying to see what I could fit in my budget and what insurance would be best and inexpensive.. Most of these companies require you give them a phone number and email before they will even quote you. I don't even have a car yet, but my phone is ringing off the hook from insurance companies. I keep telling them that I was just checking, and that I don't yet have a vehicle, but they keep calling. I've stopped answering my phone if it isn't a local number, but they still keep calling. Ugh. I don't look forward to changing my phone number again. 

I've been considering a car, but maybe I'll just get a bike. Problem with that is that our town has a very high number of car/bicycle accidents because no one looks where they are going. I'm really timid on the road when I'm on a bike. I don't really want to get squashed. Winter is coming, and biking to school doesn't work well on ice. If I do choose a car, I want a very small one, preferably a reliable one with a manual transmission. Perhaps even a hybrid, if I can swing the cost. Most of the time I ride the bus, but the route that goes by my apartment stops after 7 p.m., and I have a class that goes past 8. I'm really not looking forward to walking home, alone, in the dark and cold. It's at least a thirty minute walk as well, which I suppose isn't too bad, except for walking past the "rough part" of town (meaning the multiple bars all clumped together, a lot of bad stuff happens right there). Walking isn't exactly the greatest form of exercise for me either. I'm so clumsy that I fall often without ice; I can't even imagine how many times I'm going to bust my butt this winter. 

I hate how buying environmentally conscious products costs so much more. It doesn't even make sense. 

Anyway, if you have any ideas or advice on what you think I should do, shoot me an email. I may not be answering my phone, but I do check those. :)

On to the news.

-- A group called the Protest and Assembly Rights Project is giving police officers something to answer to. The group has put together documentation of over a hundred instances of excessive force and other misconduct by police, compiled since September of last year. Police are not responding to the group's allegations, except to say that their actions were lawful, while Occupiers gave them no cooperation or notice of their events. The first link gives a general overview of what the group has been doing. The second link provides 14 specific instances of police misconduct, taken straight from their report. (Be sure to take the time to read the second link. It made me outraged, even though I had actually both heard and seen video of many of these events previously.)

-- Remember that post I did the other day about the clown annoying police in Seattle? Well, MyNorthwest.com is linking it to the Colorado shootings, saying that the clown protester went too far in the wake of the tragedy. The problem is, it happened on the same day (although they never say that, and make it seem as if it happened more recently), and it could be that the protester did not actually know about the shooting at the time. (I didn't know it happened until I checked the news.) That isn't stopping this article from blasting the demonstration, calling it "suspect at best."

-- Things are not getting better in Anaheim. Not long after the shooting that caused protests from the community, another man was shot and killed by police. Yesterday, five people were arrested after a protest went wild, with businesses having windows broken and rocks and water bottles being thrown. One person was taken to the hospital. Over 600 people came out to protest the shootings. There have been five officer involved shooting deaths in Anaheim this year alone. (In unconfirmed news, Anonymous has come out to say that the shooting victims' families have been being harassed by police.)


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Updates 7/24/12---Who's afraid of the big, bad police officer?

Hello everyone. 

The media still seems to be having a field day with all the news surrounding James Holmes, the shooter in Colorado. Has anyone noticed something a little different about their descriptions of him though? 

He's not Black, so there is no possible gang affiliation mentioned. He's not Hispanic, so there is no talk of immigration. He's not Muslim, so he isn't being called a terrorist. 

What are they saying about him?

"brilliant student"
"straight-A student"
"possibly autistic"
"rejected by 3 women beforehand"

Does that even sound like they are talking about a mass murderer? Not a bit. It sounds like they don't know how to make him look like the bad guy. I included the word "suspect" because the CM usually does not talk about suspects or alleged killers. Since Holmes was caught at the scene, if he would have been anyone else, he would have been the "shooter," not the "alleged shooter."

Not to mentions that all articles concerning Occupy involvement have suddenly fallen off the radar. When someone says that the shooter is part of the Tea Party, they get reamed after it is found to be false. My guess is that they found the link to Occupy was faulty as well, but heaven forbid they issue a retraction there. Just ignore it, eh?

-- In light of the shootings in Colorado, Occupy OC suspended their protests of Mitt Romney's campaign to show solidarity with the victims. President Obama was not so lucky, as in Oakland multiple protest groups totaled hundreds of people. Both political parties have suspended campaigns in Colorado.

-- This next article discusses the movie The Dark Knight Rises and its relevance to Occupy. (Warning: Spoilers are in the article. If you haven't seen the movie and want to be surprised, avoid this link.) The connections are tenuous, and in some cases roar against Occupy. 

-- An artist in LA has been arrested for misdemeanor vandalism. Alex Schaefer became famous for paintings of banks on fire, and was thoroughly interrogated by police for his alleged desire to burn banks. (Just because you paint something doesn't mean you want to do it. That's why it's called art, people.) Alex was arrested yesterday for chalking the words "crook, chaos, and crime" in front of a Chase bank, using their own font. Police and protesters seem to be in a battle of will over chalking.

-- If you are anything like me, this next article may make you both sad and angry at the same time. This is from the Christian Post. It is a discussion of how mass shootings have become a part of our American culture, so much so that we don't even notice them unless they are fairly large. They list shootings from around 1990 to now, and there is quite a large amount. But then they find something to blame, and I don't agree with it.

The article says that "One element that leads to violence is a disrespect for police officers."



Ok, no. That may have a little, tiny, minuscule effect on crime, but on shootings in public? I don't think so. (And of course, they attempt to blame Occupy for a large amount of disrespect towards police. Which Occupiers do tend to have, but as I said, that is not even close to the main cause of shootings.) It just doesn't make sense. Disrespect for law enforcement wouldn't cause you to go after the public. There are so many other explanations that make sense. That one doesn't. What about a lack of health care? Mental health care? Peers? Family? I mean, law enforcement is law enforcement. People don't walk into schools and start shooting fellow students because they hate cops. There is something deeper there.

Here's the thing with me. I have a great deal of respect for police. I know that the vast majority of officers are good people, trying to do good deeds to make our communities safe. I respect and admire them. I applaud them. I have called the police before, and felt safer when they arrived. I know why they are there.

But that doesn't stop me from fearing them. Why?

Because that tiny majority is still there. And you cannot tell them apart until it is too damned late. When I'm driving and I see a police officer, I panic. I freak out, thinking "oh my god am I speeding no I'm not speeding am I driving correctly is he/she going to pull me over am I going to get a ticket I have my seatbelt on I am not on the phone holy crap holy crap." 

Let me let you in on a little secret.... I get that terrified of police.... and I have NEVER YET BEEN PULLED OVER. I've never gotten a ticket. I'm a good driver. I follow the law.

So why am I so scared?

I'm even scared if I'm walking home alone at night and I see an officer. It all stems from one event when I was twenty years old. 

I was waiting for a friend at a park. They never showed up. (They forgot I was waiting for them and went home.) It was after dusk, so the park closed, but it was never enforced. People were all over the place. I was sitting in my truck reading a book when a police officer shined his flashlight through my window. He made me get out of my truck. It was pretty obvious that he thought I was selling drugs. At that time, I had no piercings or tattoos, my hair was normal, and I didn't look anything like a "typical" drug dealer. The officer's tone of voice was rude and edged. I got scared, even though I really did have nothing to hide. 

He patted me down, which I later found out was against department policy, as there was a female officer on the clock that he could have called. She showed up later. He asked if he could search my truck, and I said yes. I didn't have anything in there. The female officer held my arms while he searched. He found a decorative knife that my mother had given me for Christmas. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I had thrown it in my glovebox and forgotten it. It was a legal knife. Obviously a collector's item, it was in a sheath made of silver with wolves all over it. He opened it and  waved it in my face.

"Guess you forgot about this, huh?" He said, leaning into my face and sneering. The female officer pulled my arms behind my back. 

"Yes, sir. I did. I apologize. It was a gift, and I forgot it was there."

"Well, it's not illegal. I just want to make sure it's in my hands, not yours. Wouldn't want you to get a hold of it." 

That was it. I got pissed off. I was beyond offended.

"I've done absolutely nothing wrong sir. You searched my truck. You didn't find anything because there is nothing to find. I haven't done anything, and I wouldn't do anything."

They forced me to sit on the tailgate of my truck while the officer searched his computer for anything he could to arrest me. He didn't just want to ticket me for being in the park after hours. He wanted me in jail. I didn't understand. I really hadn't done anything. I'm only in the computers now because I've had a job working for the state. At that time, there was nothing on me at all, except for a report I made because my ex had threatened me. He didn't want to give up. He searched my license, my plates, even my family.

After about an hour and a half, they let me go. I immediately went to the shopping center across the street, where I had other friends waiting. They had seen everything, but I had to explain what was said and such. They didn't get it either. Out of all of us, I was the one who always obeyed the law. I had never been in trouble for anything. That cop was just angry about something, and was looking to take it out on me. He was so angry when he couldn't. I actually refused to drive for two weeks, knowing that if he saw me, he would pull me over for anything he could. 

That's why I am personally afraid of police. I know that, if my friends hadn't been standing across the street watching, I probably would have been taken to jail, but not until I had some fresh marks on me. It was so obvious that the cop had wanted to hit me. He wanted to hit me with my knife, that's why he waved it in my face like he did, threatening. The female officer was holding my arms back like I was a criminal that deserved it. I was so scared. 

Most of the police officers I knew were great people. (I knew the majority of the force in my town. They knew I was a good kid. They would wave at me as they drove by, smiling. They knew I kept my friends out of trouble.) I trusted them all until that day. 

Sometimes, when you hear stories about police being bad guys, you don't believe it, because you trust all the police you know. Sometimes, you believe it, because you know that one officer, just one, is all it takes. That one officer waving an open blade in your face. Accusing you of wanting to hurt him. Accusing you of being the bad guy, when you are far from it. Pretending that you are the scum of the earth. 

That's all it takes to realize that not everyone is good.

Like I said, I know for a fact that the vast majority of officers are great people who truly want to help.

But that one...


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Updates 7/23/12

Hello everyone.

We've got a bit of info coming in from Charles and Kate today, as well as some things I've found. 

--First up is the video from Charles. This is by JRoz, a livestreamer in Rochester who had his equipment confiscated. Right before it goes black at the end, some guy in a suit tells JRoz he's going to use the video to prosecute everyone involved. Have a look. 

Next up we have two articles from Kate. Kate's been keeping a careful watch on the events unfolding in Anaheim, and found some background info. 

-- Stories are swirling in the CM about police attacking protesters in Anaheim. Police shot rubber bullets into an unarmed crowd and released an attack dog on a mother and her child. We've all heard plenty about this so far, but the CM has neglected to mention one important thing: why they were protesting to begin with. As it turns out, the unarmed man shot by police after being handcuffed is nowhere near the first person in Anaheim to have this happen. People tell stories of a young man being killed by police while walking his grandmother to the car, and of at least half a dozen other police involved shootings. What's going on here? Racial tensions are nearing a breaking point due to police seemingly targeting Black and Hispanic people. Families are distraught and lashing out at unnecessary deaths. And police are shooting rubber bullets at little kids. Land of the free....

-- Lastly today, Tampa is again ramping up "protection" for the Republican National Convention. They are working hard to clamp down on protests, limiting items people can carry, and there is speculation of use of heavy handed tactics. 


To contact me, please email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Updates 7/22/12

Hello everyone.

My mother had an emergency last night, so I was up until roughly five this morning. I need to get my sleep schedule back to normal pretty soon, but it seems like things just aren't ready for that to happen. 

I've noticed a trend in line with what I was talking about yesterday. It seems the first CM site to condemn Occupy is almost always the Examiner. I've got three "stories" from them today, just to show this point. The first two were posted less than four hours apart. 

This first one was posted yesterday afternoon at around two. It says that no connections between the Colorado theater shooter and OWS has been found, and that any links are tenuous at best. 

The second one was posted around six yesterday evening. Its title is "More signs point to James E. Holmes having been Occupy 'Black Bloc' member."

Do these people have their facts straight at all?

Here's the third Examiner article. Appearing on no other news networks, the Examiner apparently found this clown in Seattle, who was pretending to shoot police and calling them names. One of the people quoted in the article wonders if the clown may actually be a trained shooter, due to how he is holding his hand and elbow.

In other news...

-- Occupy Rochester was blocked in by police while marching yesterday evening, leading to the arrests of 18 people. Even after being menaced by police smacking their batons threateningly and dispersing pepper spray, much of the group pushed past the police to continue their march. (Thanks, Kate!) 

-- President Obama is visiting the SF Bay Area, and Oakland activists are readying to protest for multiple topics. The President isn't the only one visiting the area though. Mitt Romney will be stopping by soon as well, and protesters are expected to show up for him as well. 


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Updates 7/21/12

Hello everyone.

Yesterday I had no computer access, hence the lack of posting. Hopefully today makes up for that.

Occupy has had some serious accusations flying their way in the past few weeks. If something majorly bad happens, Occupy is immediately linked to it. This is a disturbing trend, and in all the cases so far, has been disproved soon after. First we had the OWS DNA link to a murder from (I believe) 2004. That went wild, with speculation taking hold and people condemning Occupy. It was then found that the link was actually a technician (who apparently wasn't trained not to touch evidence). 

Next, I reported on Thursday that a man was shot and killed while allegedly in handcuffs, and that some media was saying he was an Occupier. Check out this story, where they talk about how the man was not actually related to Occupy in any way, but the news (and the cops) want you to believe it. They also include several other bits from the Corporate Media in which the same tactic is deployed: 

Someone does something heinous, and therefore newsworthy; Occupy is tenuously linked to the story; Occupy is pretty much blamed for the event; Occupy protests the accusations; CM says "oh, well, it's an interesting story."

It doesn't end there. My heart goes out to the people in Colorado, who are enduring hardships brought on by a man who had apparently lost all sense of touch with reality. I don't know what he was thinking. No one does. What a terrible event. 

Now a private investigator says he found something about the shooter (James Holmes), so he has posted it on his blog. Go have a look.

That's right. And the media is running with it. Earlier, ABC News found a man called James Holmes on a Tea Party website, and speculated that it may be the shooter. Conservatives are calling for his head (Oops, I mean his job) for "showing media bias" in the speculation. But no one seems to have a problem with the shooter being linked to Occupy. 

To put things simply, Occupy is the media bad guy, and they want everyone to know it. Timothy McVeigh took a Catholic Sacrament before his execution, but no one blames Catholicism for what he did (unless they're off in the head.) Ted Bundy traveled on official business for the Republican Party when he was younger, but no one blames Republicans for the atrocities he committed. 

What's going on here? I think it's obvious.

Other news:

-- Michelle Bachmann is not done with her anti-Muslim witch hunt. After accusing Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's top aid, Huma Abedin, of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, she has moved on to accusing the first-elected Muslim Congressperson of the same thing. (Can someone please throw this crazy person out of office already? Enough of the insanity, okay?)

-- Twitter is fighting back against the ruling stating that they must release the tweets of an Occupier. THey are appealing the ruling, saying that it "doesn't strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement."


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com. Thanks.